Classy Queensland sprinter Better Than Ready will head to the spelling paddock after he contests the Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Better Than Ready was on track to head to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival in October but suffered a serious injury after galloping through a fence during trackwork at Eagle Farm; an injury that required a number of stiches and treatment to one of his testicles.
The son of More Than Ready returned to the races for the first time after the setback with an impressive victory in the Club Super Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on November 9 and trainer Kelly Schweida was full of relief that his star galloper had not suffered any ill effects from the incident.
“He really was badly hurt and we were lucky to still have him with us,” Schweida told the media after the race.
“It was a relief to see him do that today and to know he is back at his best.”
Better Than Ready will carry the top weight of 60.5kg in the Keith Noud Quality this weekend but Schweida is already looking ahead to the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and a maiden Group 1 victory for the four-year-old.
“We will give him a break and come back for the Group One races such as the Oakleigh Plate and VRC Newmarket in the autumn,” Schweida said.
“He deserves a chance in those races.”
Better Than Ready has recorded seven wins from fourteen career starts but has been unable to record a victory at the highest level of racing; a win which would dramatically increase his value as a stallion prospect following his retirement from racing.
He made his Group 1 debut with a fifth place finish behind Shamexpress in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and returned to Queensland with a third place finish behind Your Song in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
After finishing an unlucky fifth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), Better Than Ready went into the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) but was caught wide during the run and finished at the tail of the field.
Schweida is chasing his first win at Group level since Nova Star won the 2007 edition of the Queensland Breeders Winter Stakes (1400m).